While the internet has grown exponentially to become an integral part of our lives, so online sports betting has expanded rapidly over the past decade.
The number of sports betting sites has multiplied as both traditional ‘bricks-and-mortar’ firms and newer, innovative enterprises have been formed to create an online bookmaker sector generating worldwide sales in excess of $23 billion.
Online betting has grown for several reasons: greater levels of disposable income is one, but perhaps the two most important factors have been the rapid development of technology designed to make betting sites easier to access and navigate, and the corresponding expansion in the number of live sporting events shown on TV.
If a sporting fixture or tournament is televised live, either on terrestrial or satellite television, interest in it multiplies significantly and online sports betting sites can prepare for an influx of business. As a consequence, it is no longer unusual to see a group of friends watching a football or rugby match on TV with a laptop displaying odds from a betting site sat adjacent to their supply of beer for the game. Examining a sportsbook prior to kick off and engaging in some online betting before and during a match has become a regular pastime for millions of people.
Online bookmakers and their steadily expanding sportsbooks have made this possible. Furthermore, technology ensures that betting sites can react quickly to developments taking place during a game, so enhancing the online betting experience.
Not surprisingly, betting on football has been a major driver – in Europe at least – of the growth in online sports betting. Online bookmakers now regularly quote prices on dozens of markets for every match played in the Premier League, for example. If a fixture is televised live, the online bookmaker will expand the number of markets available on it and it is not unusual to see up to 80 different markets priced ahead of a big game.
But most sportsbooks’ prices also reflect the growing appeal of rugby union, cricket, golf and formula one; the average betting site will quote current and antepost odds for all mainstream sports.
Moreover, as technology has improved, so in-play or ‘live’ online betting has become increasingly popular. This expansion has coincided with the growth in the quantity and quality of internet-based data now available to punters.
Sports betting sites provide all manner of statistics, results, sports news and information for those mulling over the outcome of a big match. Some betting sites have gone further and introduced features such as podcasts and even live streaming of specific events as a means of enhancing their sportsbook offering.
Sport has become Europe’s most talked-about pastime. Its ability to create compelling drama has ensured that online sports betting sites too have become equally popular, allowing fans to pore over their sportsbook before and during a contest in search of winners. It’s a trend that shows little sign of slowing up anytime soon.